I’ve been inspired by a recent conversation between Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle and this New York Time’s article: 7 Questions, 75 Artists, 1 Bad Year. Here are my answers to the seven questions. This is typically something I would do in my notebook and think on for several days. This is a first draft post that I know will have future revisions.
What’s one thing you made this year?
We had a February reading challenge at school. Read 21 minutes everyday in February. At the end of the challenge, students could return their check off form for a small prize. We knew we wanted to celebrate the accomplishment, but also knew that we didn’t want to give students junk or food. Ideally, we would reward reading with another book to read, but didn’t have the funds for it. After seeing an idea for wishing bracelets, I thought this would be the perfect way to recognize the accomplishment. They were easy to make and cost effective. As we tied them to students wrists, we said, “This bracelet will remind you to continue your habit of reading everyday. When it falls off, you can make a wish!” Oh, and a bonus…I loved making them!
What art have you turned to in this time?
I have been reading more poetry. I’ve found myself gravitating toward the brevity and depth of it. My attention span for text has been shorter. My ability to focus for extended periods, at times exhausted. Poetry has breathed life into me when I needed it. I will often read the poem of the day on Poetry Foundation’s website. Also, I have read several novels in verse.
Did you have any particularly bad ideas?
Hmmm…I need to think a bit longer on this one.
What’s a moment from this year you’ll always remember?
I will never forget a trip to the grocery store that almost sent me over the edge. I came home feeling a sense of panic that this pandemic was all consuming; that I couldn’t handle the stress from simple tasks like going to the grocery. At the forefront of my mind was the basic need of feeding my family safely. My husband talked me through my distress and helped me isolate my fears so I could move forward. From then on my mantra of “Faith over fear” was repeated often in stressful situations.
Did you find a friendship that sustained you artistically?
I can’t think of a friendship that sustained me artistically, but I definitely have a friendship that sustains my love of reading. My friend and I text about books, share images about books we’ve read. read the same books so we can discuss, recommend books to each other, and on and on. It brings a smile to my face when I see her and we talk books.
If you’d known that you’d be so isolated for so long, what would you have done differently?
We have been given the gift of time over the last year. Time to do things we normally wouldn’t have time to do. I wish I would have used some of that time to write letters of encouragement to people. I always feel so uplifted when I receive a hand written note. I set a goal to so this and fell short. I can still do this even when we are not in isolation, so I won’t give up on this goal.
What do you want to achieve before things return to normal?
Organize, print, and display some of my favorite photos
I really wanted to get my photos organized during this gift of time at home. I’m hoping by the end of the summer to have more of this task accomplished. I have several photos from trips that I want to get printed on canvases, my son’s senior pictures to get printed and hung up, and just general organizing of old printed photos.
I’ll challenge you…How would you answer these seven questions?